Britain’s oldest car is up for auction

One of the most important cars in British motoring history is up for sale, and could fetch more than a new McLaren 720S. But with a top speed of 10mph, its power doesn’t even come close in comparison – although you can still drive 100 years later.

AN ancient motor believed to be the oldest surviving car in Britain will go under the hammer next month – and it’s expected to fetch £250,000.

That’s more than the price of a brand new McLaren 720S.

 Fitted with an engine in 1894, the Santler is thought to be the oldest car in the UK

Fitted with an engine in 1894, the Santler is thought to be the oldest car in the UK

With an estimated value between £200,000 and £250,000, the 1894 Santler Dogcart is considered one of the most important vehicles in British motoring history.

It originally dates back to 1887 when engineering brothers Charles and Walter Santler built a steam-powered car which they used on the roads for two years.

But after it was deemed illegal as mechanical vehicles at the time required a team of three to operate on the road, it was kept in a garage for the next five years.

The pair added a single-cylinder petrol engine in 1894, and once again began driving the car on the road, before it went into long-term storage a few years later.

 It was originally taken off the road as law required it be operated by three people
It was originally taken off the road as law required it be operated by three people

 The original model used a steam-powered engine

The original model used a steam-powered engine

The motor has since changed hands a number of times, and was worked on by veteran car restorer, Alec Hodsdon.

Hodsdon also modified the engine in the 1950s, adding a 3bhp single-cylinder water-cooled Benz unit.

Still operating with the same engine, it is capable of propelling the car up to 10 mph.

With a varnished wooden body, the right-hand drive Santler uses a belt transmission, with pulleys and a chain used to drive the rear wheels.

 The car has both hand brakes and a foot brake
The car has both hand brakes and a foot brake

 It has spent the majority of the last 100 years off the road

It has spent the majority of the last 100 years off the road

It has a band-type foot brake on the offside rear wheel, hand-operated ‘spoon’ brakes on the rear tyres, and comes with 28-inch front and 40-inch rear wheels.

The car is due to be auctioned off by Bonhams at their London to Brighton Run Sale on November 3.

Taking place on New Bond Street in the capital, the auction will feature a host of veteran motor vehicles and other related automobilia.

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